The former Anglican Bishop of Winchester, who frequently spoke out against redefining marriage, has died aged 71.
The Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt served as bishop from 1995 until 2011, during which time he took a stand on a number of issues including religious freedom.
He was also the bishops’ spokesman on constitutional affairs in the House of Lords, where he spoke against the Civil Partnerships Bill.
In 2003 he publicly opposed the appointment of homosexual Canon Jeffery John to be the Bishop of Reading.
Rt Revd Scott-Joynt was an early signatory to the Coalition for Marriage petition in support of marriage between one man and one woman.
In 2010, he highlighted that the law was discriminating against Christians in favour of minority groups.
He also joined other leading Church of England bishops in signing a letter to The Sunday Telegraph, in which they said Christian beliefs on marriage, conscience and worship are being ignored by UK laws.
Responding to the former bishop’s death, Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said: “Bishop Michael was unashamedly committed to Christian values, and closely followed the campaign against same-sex marriage during his retirement.”
“Even in his final months, Michael Scott-Joynt remained active in pursuing his stand for traditional marriage and religious freedom.
“He was unafraid to raise his head above the parapet on a number of issues even if this made him unpopular. He emphasised that Christians had to be prepared to be counter-cultural.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby also paid tribute to the former bishop, saying that the Church of England has lost a “faithful, hard working and distinguished servant”.
“With his ability to grasp detail and a remarkable stamina, he fulfilled all the demands made of him with a willingness that made him highly respected, not only in the church but far beyond”, he added.
Rt Revd Scott-Joynt said on his retirement that he wanted to be remembered for helping Christian people be “more confident and effective followers of Jesus”.
He was born in 1943, and he read Classics and Theology at Kings College Cambridge.
He became Bishop of Stafford in 1987, before his appointment as Bishop of Winchester in 1995.
He is survived by his wife Louise, and by two sons and a daughter.